Right Opinion

Tennessee Ordering At-Home 'Wellbeing Checks' on Every Child

Todd Starnes · Aug. 15, 2020

Parents across the Volunteer State are expressing alarm over a report that government agents will be dispatched to conduct "wellbeing checks" on every child in the state as part of its China Virus policies.

“It’s not the government’s business how children are raised,” one outraged parent wrote on social media.

The Tennessee Department of Education set aside $1 million in federal funding to establish the Child Wellbeing Task Force. Their plan is to dispatch “wellbeing liaisons” across the state to “ensure all children are checked-in on.”

“Since we know many children have experienced adversity due to the pandemic, child wellbeing checks are a deliberate way all stakeholders in the community can help ensure the needs of our children are met," Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn told ClarksvilleOnline.com. "I am encouraged by the hard work and dedication of the Task Force and our districts to support kids and their holistic needs.”

Many parents are livid — demanding to know what right the state has to come into their homes and check on the well-being of their children.

“This is an invasion of privacy and a grab at the state becoming the parent,” one citizen wrote on social media. “How crazy can you get?”

According to a state document obtained by the “Todd Starnes Radio Show,” the task force will ensure “that the needs of Tennessee children are met during and after extended periods away from school.”

Isn’t that the job of mom and dad, not the government?

The task force will also “empower local communities to meaningfully engage in ways that support child wellbeing.”

State Rep. Scott Cepicky said he is working to repeal the program, calling it a government overreach.

“This mandate from the government coming in and talking to our children is totally unacceptable and I will work to oppose any form of this program being forced on our children and families,” he said.

Tennessee Eagle Forum said it was especially alarmed by how much power the liaisons would be given.

According to the state, “A wellbeing liaison shall connect with each child in the county and/or a caretaker of a child to birth through the completion of grade 12 if enrolled in school or 18 years of age.”

And that includes children who are homeschooled.

“By what stretch of the imagination should the schools be in touch with babies and young children not yet in school and homeschooled students?” Tennessee Eagle Forum wrote on its website.

It also had concerns about the liaisons preferring to interview children without the parents being in the room.

Clearly, this is overreach by the government — and conservatives should rise up and demand that Tennessee’s Republican governor tell the “wellbeing liaisons” to stand down.

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